Serial robber hits 4 Clearwater businesses in less than 24 hours

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Detectives with the Clearwater Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are asking for help identifying a man who robbed four Clearwater businesses over a time period spanning less than 24 hours.

Three of the robberies occurred Monday morning.

“We are extremely concerned by the amount of times that this individual is hitting convenience stores,” Clearwater Police Department Spokesman Rob Shaw said.

The first robbery was at 3:19 a.m. Monday at the Speedway located at 2185 Drew St. The suspect implied he had a weapon and took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register.

The second incident was an attempted robbery that happened at 10:49 a.m. at the JK Food Store located at 2468 Belleair Road. The suspect did not show a weapon or steal any merchandise.

The third incident was less than a half hour later at 11:04 a.m. at the RS Mini Market Pizzeria Deli located at 2645 S.R. 590.

The clerk was terrified when he came in, holding what looked like a weapon. “He said, ‘Open the register,’ pointed the gun at me and the gun was inside the sleeve,” the clerk said.

She tried to hide as the bandit demanded cash. “Came around, went to the register, grabbed the money himself and that’s when the people start running from the deli, trying to catch him,” she recalled. “You know he needs to be behind bars for doing stuff like this to us.”

The manager was able to slash the suspect’s tire, but he still got away. Surveillance spotted him in a Publix parking lot down the road, where investigators believe he fixed his flat.

Detectives say the same suspect robbed a fourth location, the 7-Eleven convenience store at 1725 Drew St. just after 2 a.m. Tuesday. Detectives say he entered the store and demanded cash, implying he had a weapon. He grabbed money from the cash drawer and left the scene in a car parked nearby.

The suspect is described as a white male who is 25 to 30 years old. He is 5’5″ and weighs 150 pounds.  He has a mustache and pale complexion.

Detectives say the robber appears to be driving a light blue or gray colored early 2000 Nissan Sentra with a spoiler.

Shaw hopes they catch him before his crimes escalate. “Each time, so far, he hasn’t been violent, but you don’t know when that person might just snap and if someone resists or says something. Who knows what he might do?” he said.

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